Artemis 1 Launch, Secret Area Airplane, JWST Safety Plan


SLS lastly launches to the Moon. SpaceX will get one other contract from NASA. James Webb will get a safety plan from micrometeoroids. A Chinese language booster shreds in low-Earth orbit. A secret house airplane returns.

Area Bites are right here to get you all the most recent house and astronomy information in a handy bite-size format. This week it’s lots of large tales concerning the Moon in addition to another vital spaceflight updates.

NASA’s Plan to Shield James Webb From Micrometeoroids

The James Webb Area Telescope inside a cleanroom at NASA’s Johnson Area Middle in Houston. Credit score: NASA/JSC

JWST has been dinged greater than a dozen occasions by tiny house mud. Most of those have been innocent, inflicting nearly no injury to the house telescope, however one was surprisingly giant and noticeably deformed the section it hit. NASA will fly JWST in another way throughout its subsequent science cycle to reduce the injury from future micrometeoroids. It’ll principally be trying behind itself in orbit, reducing the relative velocity of house mud that hits its mirrors, inflicting much less injury.

Extra about JWST safety plan.

Fiery Hourglass by Webb

The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Area Telescope has revealed the once-hidden options of the protostar throughout the darkish cloud L1527 with its Close to Infrared Digicam (NIRCam), offering perception into the formation of a brand new star. These blazing clouds throughout the Taurus star-forming area are solely seen in infrared gentle, making it a really perfect goal for Webb. Picture Credit score: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI, J. DePasquale (STScI), CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

This week’s unimaginable picture from JWST exhibits a model new protostar, possible throughout the first 100,000 years of life. The item, named L1527, is situated within the Taurus Molecular Cloud about 430 light-years away. It’s so younger in its stellar evolution that it most likely solely has 20-40% of the Solar’s mass. It’s nonetheless pulling in additional materials from the encompassing molecular cloud and has spun up an accretion disc round itself the place planets will ultimately type.

Extra about Webb’s view of a protostar.

Artemis I Launched. SLS Lastly Did It!

NASA’s Area Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches on the Artemis I flight check, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, from Launch Advanced 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle in Florida. Credit score: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

This isn’t an artist’s illustration. NASA’s Area Launch System lastly blasted off, carrying the Artemis I mission to the Moon. That is the primary time in 50 years {that a} human-rated spacecraft goes to lunar orbit. There have been just a few minor delays with a chunk of networking gear, however at 1:47 am EST, the enormous rocket lept away from Launch Pad 39B on the Kennedy Area Middle in Florida. After a weeklong journey to the Moon, it’ll cross inside 100 km of the lunar floor, then fly farther than any human-rated spacecraft has ever been. It’s anticipated to return to Earth and splash down within the Pacific Ocean on December 11.

Extra about SLS maiden flight.

Extra Lunar Starship Landings for NASA

This week NASA activated Possibility B in SpaceX’s HLS contract. Beforehand SpaceX wanted to do one uncrewed demo touchdown and one crewed touchdown for NASA. With the contract extension, SpaceX will carry out one other crewed touchdown as a part of the Artemis IV. NASA pays SpaceX an extra $1.15B for this mission on high of what’s already been paid throughout the HLS contract. So, extra Lunar Starships for NASA.

Extra about SpaceX’s Moon landings.

BlueWalker-3 Unfolds, Brightens One-Hundredfold

An artist’s impression of BlueWalker-3 unfolded in orbit. Credit score: ASTSpaceMobile

Though the Starlink constellation of house satellites has been hassle for astronomers, they’re too dim to see with the unaided eye when of their last operational orbit. However a brand new communications satellite tv for pc referred to as BlueWalker-3 will likely be dramatically brighter. We’ve been nervous about this satellite tv for pc because it first launched, and this week it lastly unfurled, showing as vivid within the sky as Venus. AST Area Cell plans to launch 110 satellites, making a worldwide community of satellites to supply cellphone protection.

Extra concerning the brightest satellite tv for pc.

Secret Area Airplane Returns to Earth

Featured Picture Credit score: Employees Sgt. Adam Shanks, Area Pressure.

After 908 days in orbit, the Area Pressure’s X-37B spaceplane is again on Earth. That is the sixth mission for the X-37B, the longest at nearly three years. What was it doing up for all that point? As a result of it’s a labeled army spacecraft, we don’t have any particulars. Nevertheless, NASA did have two experiments on board, testing numerous supplies in house and the affect of house radiation on seeds. I’d suspect the opposite experiments on board had an analogous objective.

Extra about X-37B.

Don’t Miss Out On Area Information

If you wish to get a curated choice of an important house and astronomy information each week, subscribe to our Weekly E mail E-newsletter and get magazine-size ad-free information immediately from Fraser Cain.

Should you desire the information to be videoed at you, try our Area Bites playlist on our YouTube channel.

Supply hyperlink